Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Tips

My Free Ride from Uber

uberUber continues to generate buzz in the business travel industry. I recently decided to try it out and signed up for my own account.

A friend provided me with a discount code so that I could try my first ride (up to $20) for free. The app was simple and the discount easy to redeem. The best part was that I too received a free ride code to share with friends. And even better–if my friends use that code, I get another 20.00 off. It’s a pretty great share/incentive plan.

If you’re unfamiliar with Uber’s service, you type in your destination when you need a “taxi,” the Uber map locates where you are, and once you click “pick me up,” it sends the closest driver to your location. The driver is there within minutes. It’s fantastic! If you haven’t used Uber yet, I recommend you try it soon.

Christopherson’s CEO recently wrote about an experience he had with an Uber driver and his thoughts on American free enterprise. Check it out here.

Travel News Vacation Travel

Give the Gift of Travel

What gift could be more unique and memorable than the opportunity to discover a fascinating part of the world? Give the special person in your life something they will treasure for a lifetime – the gift of travel.

Gift of travelHonestly, do you remember every gift you received for Christmas last year or for your birthday? I dare say most of us would not. But do you remember that last vacation you took with your family or friends? I am sure you do. Memories last forever.

Just imagine receiving a gift for a cruise, a fishing trip to Alaska, a perfect island escape, or an adventurous trek on the Swiss Alps. There are limitless vacation possibilities. A trip of a lifetime will be cherished and remembered forever.

Travel gift certificates make an ideal gift for any occasion such as an anniversary, a birthday, Christmas, retirement gift, graduation, or a wedding gift. They are great incentive gifts for a corporation to give to their well-deserving employees.

It is easy to purchase a gift certificate from Andavo Travel, the vacation division of Christopherson Business Travel. Call 866-327-7600 or email to make your purchase. Then, our well-traveled, experienced travel consultants will make it easy and seamless for the recipient to plan their choice of vacation.

Give the gift of making memories.

Business Travel Travel Industry

Delta Air Lines: We Love to Fly

As I was sitting on my fourth Delta flight in the last month, I was reminded of Delta Air Lines’ commercial in the 1980s: WE LOVE TO FLY AND IT SHOWS.

Delta we love to flyI have consistently seen Delta flight attendants, gate agents, and pilots do so many things over the years that truly reflect the truth of that advertisement, which not only makes air travel more enjoyable, but puts a smile on my face.

In the last month, I have seen Delta employees wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and raising money for research and support. On one flight, they recognized a couple celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, and on my flight last week, they recognized our veterans and active duty military in honor of their service and Veterans Day.

As the commercial says: WE LOVE TO FLY AND IT SHOWS. Thanks, Delta, for making it a pleasure to fly.

Business Travel Travel Industry

The “Good” and “Bad” of Airline Mergers

airline mergersDid you ever wonder if consumers benefit from airline mergers? According to Bill McGee, travel and aviation consultant for Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports, “there are good and bad effects of airline consolidation.” McGee presented his thoughts at a DOT Advisory Committee for Consumer Protections meeting, which focused on the use of cell phones for voice calls in the air, the impact of government-imposed taxes and fees, and the effects of consolidation on consumer travelers.

The event was attended by Charles Leocha, Chairman and co-founder of Travelers Unitedan organization working to improve travel for consumers. Leocha posted his notes from McGee’s remarks on his website. Here were some of his “takeaways”:

1. Fares are increasing.

The Good: Fares have increased, as fuel costs have been plummeting. Consolidation is just about as good as printing money for the airlines, as they can keep raising prices even when reporting record profits.

The Bad: Consumers have to pay these higher fares.

2. Fuller cabins.

The Good: Airlines are squeezing more profits out of their aircraft by filling their aircraft more. A decade ago the average load factor on domestic flights was around 65-70 percent. Today, the load factor is in the mid-80 percent.

The Bad: Finding an empty middle seat is now almost impossible. More passengers are using the same lavatories and more passengers are crowding airports.

3. More seats are being squeezed into airplanes.

The Good: Not only are planes flying with higher loads, but they now have more seats too.

The Bad: Consumers are faced with less legroom and less comfort.

Company News and Announcements

Travel agencies recommend registering international trips with U.S. embassies

ABC 9-WTVM | NOV 23, 2015

Travel agencies recommend registering international trips with U.S. embassies

Travel Industry Travel News Travel Tips

Higher Bag Fees over the Holidays for Frontier and Spirit Airlines

bag feesTraveling during the holidays is not always a smooth or easy venture. One can usually expect crowds, delays, and now surcharges from some of your favorite discount airlines. Frontier has joined their competitor Spirit Airlines in charging an even higher bag fee during the peak holiday months.

These types of airlines have the initial allure of lower ticket prices, but then tack on extra fees for things like luggage, carry-ons, seat selection, and food/beverage. Now the fees are even higher during popular travel times. In an article from it was reported that, “Frontier Airlines…recently hiked checked and carry-on baggage fees by an extra $5 to $10 for flights scheduled anytime between Thanksgiving week and just after New Year’s, as well as peak travel periods in 2016.” While an increase of $5-$10 does not seem that bad at first glance, don’t forget to factor that cost per bag and for each leg of your trip, and  you’ll perhaps find that the low-cost carriers may not be as cost-effective as they seem.

Bloomberg Business reported that Senator Bill Nelson from Florida has asked that these surcharges be dropped due to the fact that, “These increased surcharges fly in the face of declining fuel costs and appear focused on increasing profitability on the backs of American families.” But while frustrating, this is simply supply and demand pricing. If people don’t like these surcharges, former airline executive, Jay Sorensen, who now runs a consulting firm, recommends “you should go with Southwest.” Another option would be to sign up for an airline credit card such as Delta’s Gold Sky Miles card from American Express which allows a free checked bag and priority boarding in addition to earning miles. If you’re uncertain what the baggage fees might be for your holiday flight, check out Kayak’s list.

Business Travel Travel Industry

It’s Finally Here! Denver International Airport’s First In-Terminal Hotel

Westin hotel at Denver International AirportFor the past twenty years, visitors flying into Denver International Airport (DIA) had to continue on to their hotel via taxi, hotel shuttle, or rental car. Although an in-terminal hotel has been in the plans since DIA’s opening in 1995, the plan didn’t become a reality until recently. The new Westin, a Starwood hotel officially opened its doors Thursday, November 19 with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Denver Mayor, Michael Hancock.

For more information on the new Westin DIA, and to see pictures of the inside, visit the Denver Business Journal.


Travel Industry

Need More Legroom on Your Flight?

If legroom on flights is important to you as a business traveler, and your company policy allows upgrading to economy comfort–awesome! But if not, did you know that different airlines have different standards? Below is a list of the top U.S. and International carriers that provide the most leg room:

Top U.S. Carriers International Carriers
1. JetBlue: 33 inches Aeromexico: 34 inches
2. Virgin America: 32 inches South African Airways: 33.5 inches
3. Southwest: 32 inches Asiana: 33 inches
4. Air India: 33 inches
5. Air Tahiti Nui: 33 inches

Interestingly, it appears that the leg room in is the same in coach or economy in the top three U.S. carriers. To upgrade to economy, you are paying for additional comforts, not extra legroom.

The U.S. airline that offers the least amount of leg room, as you may suspect, are those that offer the cheapest ticket prices, but then charge ancillary fees for nearly everything else–seat selection, luggage, carry-on bags, etc. Frontier and Spirit Airlines, for instance, only have 28 inches of legroom and no reclining seats.

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company, well versed in implementing travel policies and finding the best bang for your travel management buck. Contact us to learn more about how our superior service and travel technology saves companies money.

Travel Industry Travel News

Marriott International to Acquire Starwood Hotel and Resorts

merger business travelMarriott International is already a large, well-known franchise that will now be even bigger, having announced its merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Through this acquisition, Marriott will have 5,500 hotels and around 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. CNBC reported that before the purchase, “Marriott currently has three-quarters of its rooms in the United States. Starwood, which also owns St. Regis and Aloft hotel brands, gets nearly two-thirds of its revenue from outside the country.” This allows Marriott to expand globally, providing travelers and reward members the opportunity to stay at many more locations.

This purchase boosts Marriott’s worth to “$12.2 billion to create the world’s largest hotel chain with top brands including Sheraton, Ritz Carlton and the Autograph Collection.” The deal won’t be completed until the middle of 2016, but it will be a game changer for the hotel industry and will definitely give this franchise a leg up when customers go to book their next stay.

Company News and Announcements

Who Ya Gonna Call? Mobile Technology Partners


Who Ya Gonna Call? Mobile Technology Partners

Business and Leadership Business Travel

Uber, Free Enterprise, and America

As a frequent business traveler, I spend more time than I would prefer in taxis, Uber cars, and other forms of transportation. But one of my favorite things to do in these situations, is to “interview” the drivers and hear their stories–as most of their stories are interesting.

Last week, I was in Chicago where I spent an hour with Uber driver, “Dervish.” My motivation for the “interview” was to learn from someone working directly in the so-called disruptive “sharing economy,” and also to simply get to know him.

This is Dervish’s story.

Fifteen years ago, Dervish and his wife, along with their two sons, were living in their home country of Albania when he applied for immigration to the United States. With a crackle in his voice, he told me about the day he received the letter from the United States of America granting his request.

When he and his family arrived in the States, he started out working in a factory in Chicago making $6.00 an hour, but soon got a job with a limo company and increased his earnings.

A few years ago he was able to buy an Uber car and he now “runs his own business.” His wife “works for an electronic engineering company” and his two boys have graduated from college, both with masters degrees. They too have good jobs.

Throughout the entire story, he kept repeating versions of, “This is the best country in the world. There is no other place where my family could have had the opportunities we have had.” He told me that most of his extended family and relatives still live in Albania. Most of them struggle to “get by.” None of them want to take the risk he took 15 years ago.

We arrived at the hotel at about 6:00 p.m. and I asked him if I would be his last ride. He said, “No. Business is good tonight. I’m going to keep working.” He then hustled back to get my luggage out of his trunk, shook my hand, looked me in the eye, thanked me for my business and said, “I’m going to give you a Five-Star Uber rating. I hope you do the same for me.”